Continuing our series on the legends of the Flower Kingdom, what better way to find out about the majestic Rose than from the Queen of Flowers herself?
Today we finally managed to get hold of her (June was a particularly busy month for her!), and she was more than happy to tell us some stories about the origins and future of this royal family of the Flower Kingdom.
Interviewer: Hello, good to have you with us. Wow those petals of yours have a nice looking glow today!
Queen Rose: (Smiles coyly) Well, I did try to make an effort..
Interviewer: So, let's get started. We are all very curious as to how roses came about in the first place and how it came to symbolise love and admiration. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Queen Rose: We have always been told that our ancestor was created from the essence of gods and goddesses. It all began, from the body of a lifeless nymph which the goddess of flowers, Chloris, had found in the woods. Determined to make it The Flower of Love, she saught the help of other gods and goddesses..hmm let me think who they were again..
Queen Rose: Ah yes. She gained the help of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who donated a portion of her beauty; Dionysus, the god of wine, who gave some nectar to give our sweet scent; and the three Graces who gave us charm, brightness and joy! Zephyr, the West Wind, made the clouds disappear so that Apollo the sun god could make the flower bloom. So enchanting she was..she was crowned Queen of Flowers, and the status has remained with us until today!
Interviewer: And how about the thorns?
Queen Rose: They have another story of their own..To cut a long story short, the friend of a beautiful maiden named Rhodanthe grew jealous of her beauty, and turned Rhodanthe into a rose as it was back then and her eager suitors into these ugly thorns. Those have stuck with us ever since...
Interviewer: But that's what make a rose special! And your beautiful natural colouring - we all know that Red Roses are the most popular breed.. but how did roses first become this intoxicating shade of crimson?
Queen Rose: Wow that's a difficult one..I have heard lots of wild stories about that. My favourite one is probably an Arabic legend where a nightingale's love for a beautiful white rose inspired him to sing...However, when he got close to her, her thorns pierced his heart and turned all the white roses into blood red roses. Such a beautiful story! As far as I know though, I believe we infact originated from the Chinese mountains...
Interviewer: Hmm, interesting indeed. So moving on, do you think the current popularity of roses will remain in years to come?
Queen Rose: In my opinion we are timeless! We are 'The' original flower of love..as I mentioned before, so I don't think that can ever change. Also, the huge number of breeds of us means that there is a style and colour to suit everybody and every occasion. Whether it's just a bunch of us or with our friends, I believe we will always be a popular choice!
Interviewer: Final question. Just out of curiosity, what do you think of the number 12?
Queen Rose: Hmm, personally I prefer 99! Afterall, for us the more the merrier in a bunch. Although the number 12 does have special symbolism for perfection, and it can be associated with months of the year, or number of zodiac signs..hmm..
Interviewer: Well, thank you for the great stories and I should hope to see you again soon. Hope you enjoy moving to your new home today!